Wednesday , April 23 2014
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Author Archives: Mint Design Co.

26th Annual Easter Sunrise Service

Larry Krejci and JoAnn Criss Krejci model their backpack beach chairs.  This is the first year the two will attend the Easter Sunrise Service as a married couple. SUBMITTED PHOTOS

By Coastal Breeze News Staff The Easter Sunrise Service evokes a joyful sense of community for some and a sacred pilgrimage for others. “It was pure joy, something I wished I experienced sooner,” said Islander Rosemary Tolliver who was overwhelmed the first time she attended six years ago. Tolliver tries to gets there early to watch as the people stream down the beach. She enjoys seeing the different collections of people from various walks of life, families and neighbors gathering and discovering each other in the crowd. “It’s dark when you get there,” she said. “The boats have lights on ... Read More »

Invigorating Relay for Life

World of Hope Luminaria event. PHOTOS BY FRANK STEIGER

By Melinda Gray Mackle Park was a flurry of activity on Saturday, April 12, as the Relay for Life of Marco Island, presented by Robert J. Flugger, filled it with the sights, sounds and smells of a carnival, bringing people together to “finish the fight” and end cancer by working to find a cure. It seems everyone has been affected by this disease in some way — through loved ones, family members or in fighting their own personal battles with the disease. Teams, volunteers and attendees united to promote awareness, raise money to benefit the American Cancer Society (ACS) ... Read More »

Darrell Loan: Thundering Through History

Tom and Vicki Williams (left) are pictured with Florida’s First Lady Ann Scott and Darrell Loan at the 2013 Florida Book Awards reception. PHOTO COURTESY OF THE STATE OF FLORIDA

By Noelle H. Lowery What do a pony and a faulty latch, greased pigs and a donkey have in common with Top-Secret Crypto security clearances, atomic bombs and modern-day ballistic missiles? Two words: Darrell Loan. Loan’s name maybe conspicuously absent from the history books, but he was instrumental in catapulting the United States to the front of the Space Race in the 1960s. He spent 26 years with NASA trying to maintain America’s supremacy in space, working as an aeronautical engineer. While Loan never flew a space capsule or sat in the cockpit of a shuttle launching into orbit, ... Read More »

MIPD Goes High-Tech with Twitter


By Noelle H. Lowery Want to know what is going on with the Marco Island Police Department? Have questions about code enforcement, traffic and marine safety or prescription medicine safety? Interested in the latest MIPD crime report? The MIPD is turning to technology to help keep its residents informed on all of these topics and more. At the suggestion of new Marco Island City Manager Roger Hernstadt, the police department started using Twitter as its community-wide communications platform on March 15. “It was my suggestion to augment other public notice methods with Twitter, as it can be more timely ... Read More »

Policeman of the year


By Coastal Breeze News Staff Sgt. Hector Diaz was named Policeman of the Year for 2013. It’s an honor more distinguished by the fact it is chosen by peers. Diaz is known on the island not only as a long-time policeman, but also as a family man, a coach and a professional fishing guide. Diaz is a graduate of the St. Augustine Police Academy where he was class president. He joined the Marco Island Police Department in 1999 as a patrol officer. As he was trained as a K-9 handler, Diaz brought a police dog down from Jacksonville and gave ... Read More »

Coastal Breeze Earns Seven National Awards


By Coastal Breeze News Staff The Association of Free Community Papers (AFCP) announced the winners of its annual Best of the Best competition at an industry conference held at Disney World in Orlando over the weekend of April 4. Publications from across the United States and Canada were represented. There were over 1,400 individual entries in 83 categories.   Coastal Breeze News received: First Place: Andrew J. Shapiro award for Cancer Awareness. This is the third year in a row Coastal Breeze News has won this prestigious award – winning first place, then second the following year and first place ... Read More »

Randall Kenneth Jones Speaks at Naples Press Club


A virtual “love letter” to his relatively new Naples hometown, Jones’ engaging presentation promises to blend thought-provoking insight with unexpected surprises from his Naples Daily News column, “Business Class.” “Business Class” is an exploration of positive business principles selected from interviews with high-level executives, business leaders, and business-savvy celebrities. Essentially, Jones challenges his audience to ask themselves: Do I have “BUSINESS CLASS?” A self-described “professional storyteller,” his portfolio includes work performed for such household-name clients as TJMaxx, Walgreen’s, Carter’s, GEICO, The Washington Post, Baltimore Sun and more. As the creator of national professional-courtesy initiative, Jones has landed on Public Radio’s Marketplace with Kai ... Read More »

Somerset Model at Fiddler’s Creek


Fiddler’s Creek announces that construction is starting on the brand new Somerset model at Chiasso, a village of 59 classical Mediterranean-style single-family homes in the luxury, master-planned community. Offered by D.R. Horton, the Somerset is a two-story residence offering 3,461 air-conditioned square feet and 4,297 total square feet. The home features a desirable split floor plan with the luxuriously appointed master bedroom, master bath, and a powder bath on the ground floor and three guest bedrooms and three additional full baths located on the second floor. The second floor of the Somerset also offers an entertainment/game room with a sizable amount of storage ... Read More »

JCMI Bingo


George D. Smith of Harlan, Indiana, was a big winner at Monday night Bingo at the Jewish Congregation of Marco Island. He is being congratulated by Bernie Seidman. Bingo is being played every Monday. Doors open at 5:30 PM. The Public is welcome. Read More »

Cultural, Art, and Theater Organizations Unite!


Recently, the leaders from a number of not-for-profit 501(c)3 organizations announced the formation of the Cultural Alliance of Marco Island & Goodland (CAMIG). Each one of these organizations delivers quality cultural education and entertainment to residents and visitors to Marco Island, Goodland and surrounding areas. Although independent, they share a passion for artistic expression. Membership organizations include Goodland Arts Alliance, Greater Marco Family YMCA, Island Theater Company, Marco Island Center for the Arts, Marco Island Foundation for the Arts, Marco Island Historical Society, and The Marco Players. In the next several months, the group plans to formalize their structure, develop ... Read More »

Apple Blossom Teacher of the Year


The Naples Alliance for Children will honor a person for the Collier County Apple Blossom Teacher of the Year Award on Friday, April 7. A Greater Marco Family YMCA preschool teacher has been named as one of the nominees. Kelly O’Connor is the preschool teacher for the 4-5 year old classroom. Charlene Garcia, Youth Development Supervisor at the Marco Y, outlined the reasons that O’Connor should be an Apple Blossom Teacher of the Year Award nominee. “Kelly has been the pre-K teacher since January of 2012. When she started, the pre-K program was in a period of transition from the ... Read More »

The Odd Couple


The Odd Couple, a classic comedy that earned Neil Simon his first Tony Award premiered on Broadway in 1965 and is one of the playwright’s funniest works. Gina Sisbarro will direct this hilarious play packed with comic situations involving a circle of kooky acquaintances and neighbors. The Children’s Theater cast of characters include Luke Sheldon playing Oscar Madison; Cooper Ussery playing Felix Unger; Eddy Ludwigsen as Murray; Josiah Hurtley as Speed; Ryan Sullivan as Vinny; Joey Golec as Roy; Dylan Dodgers as Mac; Abby Martin as Gwendolyn; Mariel Sanchez as Cecily; Marley Wilson as Blanche Madison and Jessica Lang as ... Read More »

15th Annual SWFL Soapfest


Soapfest, one of Marco Island’s most beloved charity events for almost two decades, returns for its annual weekend festival featuring daytime celebrity actors and signature events to raise funds for local children’s charities. Tickets are now on sale for the 15th annual Southwest Florida Soapfest Charity Weekend May 23-26, 2014. “This year’s SoapFest children’s beneficiaries include Camp Able and the Island Theater Company Kids Program, among others” says SoapFest founder Pat Berry. Camp Able provides a program for local special needs children. The three days of non-stop festivities include favorites such as the legendary “A Night of Stars”, “Cruisin’, Boozin’ and ... Read More »

Manatee Speed Zones in Effect

Now that weather and waters are warming, manatees are disbursing into their popular feeding and loafing areas. To ensure manatee safety, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) law enforcement officers, along with federal and local law enforcement partners, will be increasing patrols in these areas. This effort coincides with seasonal manatee zones that went into effect April 1 and run through Nov. 15. The speed zones are intended to protect the state’s official marine mammal from collisions with boats. Boaters should pay strict attention to signs that delineate each seasonal manatee protection zone and their boat’s speed. Boaters and ... Read More »

Public Online Access to Court Records

The Florida Supreme Court recently released Administrative Order SC 14-19 Standards for Access to Electronic Court Records, lifting a moratorium for Clerks who wish to provide public access to electronic court records online. Before the new online access is made available to the public, each Clerk of Court must have their application reviewed and approved by the Supreme Court. In Collier County, the Clerk’s staff is hoping to provide online public access to court records within the next six months. Once the Clerk’s application has been approved by the Court, the public will be able to view court records online using ShowCase, ... Read More »

Local Ducks Unlimited Makes Top 100

The Top 100 is one of the most highly sought-after titles of recognition Ducks Unlimited offers to its local chapters. Each year, the list is comprised of the top 100 fundraising chapters in the United States that raise up to $100,000 through fundraising activities in their communities. Through the efforts of these volunteer committees DU is able to pursue its mission of conserving, enhancing and restoring North America’s wetlands. In 2013 the Naples chapter made the Top 100 list as one of the organization’s best fundraising chapters. Visit to see the full Top 100 list for this year.   Read More »

New Program Heals Vets and Saves Pets

Collier County Veteran Services and Domestic Animal Services (DAS) are teaming up to support veterans and give shelter pets a second chance with the creation of Operation Welcome Home: Shelter Pets for Vets. The program is dedicated to supporting veterans and providing a second chance for shelter pets by rescuing, training and pairing them with America’s veterans who could benefit from a companion animal at no cost. If a successful match is made, the pet will receive the appropriate training and begin its new life serving a deserving U.S. veteran. For more information, call Daniel Christenbury, Public Information Coordinator, at ... Read More »

Look out for Gopher Tortoises

A gopher tortoise strolling across a road or through a backyard or field is a common sight during spring in Florida. Yet as tortoises become increasingly active this time of year, they are vulnerable to being struck by vehicles and injured or killed. Don’t forget to look out for these slow-moving reptiles with their bony-plated shells and elephantine legs. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) encourages drivers to slow down on highways to help protect the state’s gopher tortoises. If a gopher tortoise is crossing the road, it is OK to pick it up and move it to ... Read More »

Stamp out Hunger

Saturday, May 10 marks the 22nd anniversary of America’s largest-single day of giving — the National Association of Letter Carriers Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive in Partnership with the U.S. Postal Service, Campbell Soup, Feeding America and other partners. Currently, 49 million Americans—1 in 6—are unsure where their next meal is coming from. In 2013, 74 million pounds of food was collected by Postal carriers nationally, feeding an estimated 30 million people. Over the course of the 21-year history, the Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive has collected well over one billion pounds of food. Just leave a non-perishable food donation in a ... Read More »

Road Watch Report

US 41 at Pelican Marsh Boulevard: Work on this project includes installing pedestrian features and upgrades to meet current ADA standards, connecting existing sidewalks to ramps, installing signal back plates, and pavement markings. Project completion is expected in spring 2014. I-75/Alligator Alley Rest Area at mile marker 63: Work continues to build two recreational access areas adjacent to the Big Cypress National Preserve backcountry trails, replace the existing rest area, build a new public safety center and water treatment plant, and upgrade the existing wastewater treatment plant. The entire rest area is closed until project completion, estimated Fall 2014. The design/build contractor ... Read More »